What causes neck hematoma during thyroidectomy and how is this complication managed?

Updated: May 08, 2018
  • Author: Neerav Goyal, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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A rare but dangerous complication of thyroidectomy, neck hematomas can form secondary to inadequate hemostasis or a coagulopathy. Incidence of this complication is approximately 1%, but its occurrence can lead to asphyxiation and airway compromise. [46] When identified on physical examination, the patient must be taken back to the operating room for exploration and achieving hemostasis. If the patient is in respiratory distress, the surgical wound should be opened and the hematoma evacuated immediately (even at the bedside) and then the patient should be taken to the operating room.

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